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Expat Voting Rights Endangered By US Supreme Court Decision


By Mark Bilker

The recent (June 11) US Supreme Court decision upholding the state of Ohio’s stringent voter purge law underlines in bold letters the absolute need for citizens to exercise their right to vote. “Use it or lose it” has never had a more ominous meaning.

Expats are especially susceptible to being disenfranchised due to the vagaries of moving, mail forwarding, and simple bureaucratic error.

The Ohio law mandates the removal from registration rolls of people who fail to vote in two consecutive federal elections and then fail to respond to letter and follow-up postcards requesting confirmation of their voter registration address.

Though the Ohio law is the most stringent of the existing voter purge laws on the books, a number of other states have enacted similar requirements, and with the Supreme Court ruling, additional states are expected to enact similar purge laws.

The first line of defense for members of San Miguel de Allende’s expat community is to check with their local election boards to confirm that they are properly registered regardless of what state they come from.

The nonpartisan Get Out the Vote (GOTV) campaign here in San Miguel will kick off on July 28 and run through August 11. Volunteers will be able to assist voters with the registration and voting process and will be able to direct voters to their home election boards for registration confirmation purposes.

Additional volunteers are needed to fully staff the planned information venues. Those interested in participating in this most important and urgent effort are asked to contact to sign up for the GOTV training session scheduled for July 18 from 10am to noon in the Conference Room at the Hotel Quinta Loreto, or at the various GOTV registration venues.

GOTV volunteers will be available at La Luciernaga, Mercado Sano, La Biblioteca, La Conexión on Aldama, and at Hotel Aldea following Sunday UU services. Specific days and times of coverage at these venues will be announced shortly.

Voters may also go on line at and for further information and to register directly.


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